Exploratory Modeling for Policy Analysis

by Steven C. Bankes

Exploratory modeling is using computational experiments to assist in reasoning about systems where there is significant uncertainty. While frequently confused with the use of models to consolidate knowledge into a package that is used to predict system behavior, exploratory modeling is a very different kind of use, requiring a different methodology for model development. This paper distinguishes these two broad classes of model use, describes some of the approaches used in exploratory modeling, and suggests some technological innovations needed to facilitate it.

Originally published in: Operations Research, v. 41, no. 3, May-June 1993, pp. 435-449.

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